How Shohei Ohtani made history with selection as cover athlete for MLB The Show 22

Sep 19, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17)
Sep 19, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani (17) / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani was named as the cover athlete for MLB The Show 22, but what he did is more important than just representing the LA Angels on a video game cover.

It's that Ohtani is the ONLY Angel to have ever been on the cover for MLB The Show, which is widely considered to be the greatest baseball video game series ever, unless one counts the old-school Backyard Baseball series over it.

The interesting part about it isn't even just that which makes this cover announcement historical. There's another aspect to it which makes it even more groundbreaking.

There had never been an Asian American on a major North American sports game cover until Shohei Ohtani.

Shohei Ohtani broke another barrier through this announcement. Japan is going to be stoked about this.

I could see Japan putting Ohtani on the cover of the next NPB game, even though he doesn't play there anymore. Trust me when I say that that's how much they appreciate the two-way sensation.

They have 20 journalists over there who's ONLY job is to cover ShoTime, and ShoTime only. Not the whole league, or the Angels, but Ohtani in himself. I've been interviewed by multiple Japanese media outlets during and ever since this past season, and I was asked about Ohtani's prospects of being on the cover of The Show all the way back in the summer.

Japan has been waiting for this for a long time, and now we notice why. Ohtani must be the greatest weapon in The Show history, as he's both an Ace on the mound (3.18 ERA, 10.8 K/9, 1.090 WHIP, 141 ERA+) and the best offensive player in baseball (46 HR, 103 R, 100 RBIs, 26 SB). If he can put up those numbers, and even do more ridiculous athletic feats such as STEALING HOME, I can't even imagine what he's going to be able to do in a video game.

Next. Projecting our Opening Day starting rotation during lockout. dark

Watching him on the field already feels like a video game.